Day The World Ended (1955) starring Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Mike Connors
Day the World Ended deals with the survival of a rancher and his grown daughter after atomic war. The house is a safe “zone” protected from the radiation by mountains with lead ore. Most of the world has been decimated, but a small group of survivors find their way to the house. They include a geologist, a crook and his girlfriend, as well as a gold prospector. And they deal with insufficient food … As well as mutated survivors.
Roger Corman’s Day the World Ended is a surprisingly enjoyable “end of civilization” movie. It’s well acted, with an interesting cast of characters. Although, some definite cliches are here. There’s the expected personality conflicts, romance, etc. Towards the end, we meet the “highly mutated” human survivor, which is plainly a man in a rubber monster suit. This brings the realism of the film down, quite a bit. But Day the World Ended is enjoyable despite it.
Cast of characters
- Richard Denning (Creature from the Black Lagoon) as Rick. He’s a geologist, who actually becomes useful to the group. He earns the Captain’s grudging respect, Louise’s affection, and Tony’s animus.
- Lori Nelson (Pardners) as Louise Maddison. The Captain’s attractive young daughter. She mourns the death of her fiancee. She slowly falls in love with Rick. But Tony lusts after her as well … And she keeps hearing a mysterious voice, calling to her.
- Adele Jergens (The Fuller Brush Man) as Ruby. Tony’s girlfriend, a former strip dancer. Somewhat earthy, but a nice person overall. She tries to be a friend with Louise, Pete, and even the burro. But she’s hopelessly in love with Tony. Which may be the death of her …
- Mike Connors (Mannix) as Tony Lamont. A crook, a coward with a gun. He verbally abuses Ruby in favor the the younger Louise. He’d gladly kill Rick if he could get away with it. He does little to help the other survivors. Of course, if he killed the other men, the food would stretch further…
- Paul Birch (Queen of Outer Space) as Jim Maddison. Known as Captain, he built his ranch in a safe place. He foresaw the threat of atomic war ten years before, and planned. He has food and provisions to last for three people. But now it’s stretched past the breaking point. He’s a loving father, but a pragmatic man.
- Raymond Hatton as Pete the gold prospector. Along with his burro, Di-ablo, they stumble up on ranch. He’s a sweet, slightly crazy old person that’s likeable. Once Di-ablo is taken … and eaten … by the mutants, he loses his will to live.
- Paul Dubov as Radek. One of the survivors, who’s been affected the radiation. He survives, and desires raw meat …
Editorial review of Day The World Ended courtesy of Amazon.com
In a post-apocalyptic world after an atomic war, seven disparate people find themselves in a protected valley in the home of a survivalist and his beautiful daughter.
- Louise keeps a picture of her now-dead boyfriend by her bed. The photograph is director Roger Corman.
- The fourth film directed by Roger Corman, and his first in the science-fiction/horror genre. It was shot over ten days on a budget of $96,234.49.
- The narrator is the famous newsman, Chet Huntley.
- It’s implied, but never expressly stated, that the mutant monster is actually Louise’s fiancee.